The Pro Shop by Justin diFeliciantonio - Two for One
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Two for One 11/14/2008 - 6:33 PM


I'm a shoe enthusiast. At least that's the polite term for it. My closet is overflowing with footwear, most of which don't see the light of day. I have a particular weakness for sneakers. Tennis, basketball, running, cross-training, and casual - I'm stockpiling as if a shortage is imminent. Still, when it comes to my sports kicks I'm usually pretty loyal. I wear a pair until it's got nothing left, praise them for a job well done, and find a suitable replacement. So I don't use a specific pair for practice and another on game day. It's one shoe for all occasions.

But I can understand the value of having a dual shoe system. You practice with one that has an emphasis on cushioning and durability for extended workouts. And then for matches you opt for a lighter more streamlined option that still provides adequate support. It will be players who subscribe to this routine that will be very interested in the K-Swiss Defier-miSOUL Tech. We'll call it the Defier for short. Due out in the spring of 2009, it's essentially a training and a competition shoe rolled into one. The reason being it comes with two completely different insoles: Cushion 1.0 designed to handle the rigors of drilling and practice, and Light 1.0 for match days. K-Swiss is also producing a running shoe, aptly called the Run One-miSOUL Tech, which also features rotating insoles.
Shoe companies have tried their luck at replaceable parts in the past. Nike trotted out the Air Zoom Revive a few years back which came with two outsoles. You pulled one off and slid the other into place. Not long after K-Swiss tried something similar with the Reinforcer, but that came with a spare piece for the toe-drag area and not the entire outsole. Neither model had much traction with the tennis public, as they're no longer being sold.

We have yet to test the Defier (expect to see a review in TENNIS and online in the spring), but we do have a couple of sample pairs in the office. The insoles are clearly different from one another, and with some practice, can be swapped in and out with relative ease. The company is also offering replacement insoles on its website, so if you play on a soft surface that doesn't chew up the outsole, you can really prolong the life of your shoes.

So what do you think? Does miSOUL sound like it could be your shoe?


Posted by AndrewD 11/14/2008 at 07:16 PM


Your reviews are the only ones I've found that bother to mention the flex point of a shoe, something greatly important to me as a sufferer of Plantar Fasciitus.

Do you have any recommendations of shoes that have a good flex point (near the ball of the foot) but also are quite roomy in the toe box (I add cushioned orthotics)?

Thanks very much,


Posted by michael 11/15/2008 at 11:17 PM

I don't compete yet, just play casual matches at the community courts. I rotate 2 pairs (Adidas Barricade, Nike Vapor - latest issues) just to keep them from deteriorating too quickly. I find both to be awesome in terms of looks and performance. Should I use the Barricades for training and the Vapors for matches?

Posted by Vincent 11/17/2008 at 01:51 AM

Well... seeing as your so interested, I remember I had a pair of lotto atp raptors 2's the speed ones that were silver. And they had a competition insole that was softer, and a training insole that was stiffer and more firm for practice.

Posted by kniza 11/17/2008 at 06:37 AM

j'espère que federer va se rattraper l'année prochaine

Posted by Jeff 11/17/2008 at 09:34 AM

Even with expensive shoes the inlcuded insoles are cheap junk. I threw out the insoles from my Adidas Barricades and Prevails and replaced them with a custom footbed that offers much more arch support. Its not that expensive (check out tenniswarehouse's sister company runnerswarehouse) to do and it makes a huge difference in support and comfort.

Posted by Jeff D 11/17/2008 at 11:59 AM

So I saw another Jeff just posted so we threw on the last initial as well. I just wanted to say I loved your articles before I knew you were a shoe fanatic. Well I myself am a fellow shoe addict. My collection runs about 45 deep of shoes all well maitained. Keep up the great work.

Posted by JIm A 11/17/2008 at 12:53 PM

in reality I wonder how this actually helps the shoe outside of feel?

Shoes, whether they be tennis/running/fitness need a solid 24 hours for the midsole to spring back to their normal state (albeit not visible to the naked eye) or it will lose its properties much quicker (typically seen by increased creasing,etc)

an insole for the most part is just the connection point and while a thicker one may feel a bit better its akin to having a 4g dampener absorb the shock of a 80g ball traveling at 70mph

I'm a little bit of a shoe geek as well, and have 2 pair, one that I use for my singles matches (the Air Zoom Oscillate reissue) and another for 2+hours of doubles (NB 782, well ventilated, snug, comfy) since I'm moving half as much but am on the court longer..if I'm playing 2x in the same day I make it a point to use each pair to keep the midsoles in good shape...

Posted by Shoebuy Coupons Chick 04/20/2009 at 12:23 PM

I am not a shoe geek and I only buy New Balance running sneakers.

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